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HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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  • Really loving the @hellolaurelhill moon cuff that @glennbenglish got me for Xmas from @studiosheltercollective!
  • Perfect Christmas Eve dinner at home: NC coast wild shrimp stuffed with @sunbursttrout and Maytag blue cheese, and creamed spinach & white wine, followed by a nightcap of eggnog with Elijah Craig bourbon. I am stuffed and happy and ready to bring Santa to life under the tree. Happiest of holidays to you, friends.
  • You guys! It's Christmas Eve AND I just posted my first ever video collaboration with @jenathan and @rorris to small measure! So excited! Come make wassail with me, won't you? Pop over to smallmeasure.com and we'll do it together (you can also use the link in my profile). Happy holidays! *Thanks to @rorris for the screen grab shown above, where, yes, I am most definitely throwing the gang sign for
  • For the solstice, @daniel.rattigan of @frenchbroadchocolates gifted us a beautiful loaf of challah that he baked, which we used for this bacon bread pudding, from our recipe in the mag-book, Bacon, from Hobby Farms. This is a perfect recipe for the holidays!
  • When your father (@glennbenglish) and grandfather have beards, Santa and his white-bearded self bring nothing but grins and cuddles. Huxley is totally down with the man in the red suit (and jingle bell feet!).
  • Attended a love and light-filled Solstice potluck gathering this evening at the home of our dear friends Katherine and Andy. So grateful for the fellowship and community this place offers. As those of us in the northern hemisphere shift into winter, and a return to light-filled days, sincerest wishes from our home to yours for health, happiness, and abundance in the months and new year ahead.
  • A winter's day, in a deep and dark December. Enjoyed a walk down our driveway earlier to gather holiday cards and gifts from the mail with my little fella. Happy almost solstice, friends.
  • Local friends-whatever your plans are for this evening, change them! Come join me instead at @rhubarbavl for their
  • Great burger and transcendent frites with a charred onion aioli at @kingjamesavl. Great vibe and an exceptional waitstaff, which deftly caught that Huxley was nearing meltdown mode, and saved the day with a lightening fast, perfect grilled cheese. Wonderful seeing Steven Goff and @samlg87!
  • Livin' in an Appalachian paradise. ??(view of Mt. Pisgah, from the top of our road).
  • The finale at last night's Sunday Supper @rhubarbavl was this Chocolate Coffee Tart with Vanilla Orange Marmalade from my book
  • What a surreal experience last night @rhubarbavl, being served your own recipes! Shown here: Chimichurri Deviled Eggs (
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Starseed

Since Hubs and I both work from home, our plan when we decided to have a child was to have them always be with us. For the most part, that’s been the case. While we wrote, or did projects, or cooked, or worked in the garden or the chicken coop, our little guy has always been in a sling, on our hips, crawling around on the ground, or, now, walking beside us. And it’s worked. Until lately.

Huxley wants to be outside. All. The. Time. His name means “Outdoorsman”, so, it makes sense, really. That said, when I’m trying to meet a pending December 1st deadline for the manuscript of my new book, continually heading outside to watch Huxley as he plays doesn’t really fit into my super crammed schedule.

When we learned last summer that a newly emerging eco-community called Sacred Mountain Sanctuary had developed quite literally on the mountain ridge behind our house, we were ecstatic. We looked forward to the gatherings the community intended to host, as well as the like-minded folks we might meet. And then, we learned a few months ago about a toddler program SMS had in the works.

For the past few Tuesdays, from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Huxley and Hubs have bundled up and headed over to Starseed. I get a few hours of alone time to write, Hubs gets some time with the little one, and Huxley gets some time with other children. The best part, though, has got to be the fact that the entire program takes place outdoors. That’s right-rain, snow, mud, these kids are out in it. Of course, that means careful planning on the part of the educators and parents alike, for both the curriculum and the proper attire. Colder weather and a rugged terrain mean warm coats, layers of clothes that can be peeled off should ecstatic splashing in the natural spring on the property occur (and it does, believe me!), and sturdy boots, for the kiddos and the adults.

Each session begins with a collaboratively assembled and prepared pot of soup placed over an outdoor fire. Then the Starseeds, their parents, and the teacher, Ms. Tiffany, head out into the forest to explore and learn. Later, everyone returns to eat soup, and then hear a story and perhaps do a craft.

Yesterday, the group also participated in planting a patch of goldenseal on the property, to be enjoyed in upcoming years by the residents. I love the idea of these young minds, digging, planting, and growing, right there along with the whole wide (and wild!) world. I admit, it was really hard letting him go, being out there in the woods. Of course, his Papa is there along with him, but, other moms, you know what I’m talking about. But letting go, more and more everyday, is really what parenting teaches us, isn’t it? Give them what they need, and they’ll get the confidence to go out into the world and flourish.

6 Responses to Starseed

  • Li says:

    What an awesome program! Our son goes to Kindergarten at the Maple Ridge Environmental School, which is an almost entirely outside k-8 public school (they are outside 90%) of the year, full days. Our son has only had 1 day inside so far this year, and let me tell you, its awesome! Here’s the link to the school..perhaps this program could eventually grow into one similar to ours! http://es.sd42.ca/ Enjoy:)

  • Rachael says:

    That program sounds incredible! I love the soup idea.

  • EcoGrrl says:

    This is so beautiful. I can feel the quiet and the connection. Amazing. Thank you.

  • Hollie says:

    What a wonderful program, and how fortunate it is so close!

  • Lois says:

    How wonderful to have that so close to your home. Huxley is very fortunate to have a program like that, and it all sounds like so much fun. Kids don’t care about the weather the way adults do, they just have the energy and curiosity to want to be outside exploring.

  • Amanthus says:

    Wow, what a great post. I have been fascinated with Nordic outdoor schools since reading about them a couple years back. Cool to see an outdoor school happening in WNC. With our two year old we make it a point to get outside daily, regardless of the weather and have for most of his life. Maybe I will blog about all the helpful gear out there to protect our wee one’s from the elements. What is your favorite piece of gear?